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All About Robert Montgomery Off The Screen
Robert Montgomery has always believed in the axiom that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. That,
to a great extent, accounts for.
his reputation of being the most aggressive and determined young man in Hollywood. And undoubtedly, it accounts for his enduring success as a screen star.
When Montgomery wants something he goes after it in the quickest, most effective manner he can devise. He charts his course and follows it, letting nothing stand in his way.
His attitude, a somewhat surprising one for a young man reared in the lap of luxury with a singularly undisturbed life until he reached his middle teens, has paid him dividends quite regularly. Hollywood has been kind to him because he forced it.
When Bob was sixteen he and his slightly older brother decided to find work.
Although they had been trained along no particular lines, they went out and bought overalls, red kerchiefs and blue shirts and applied for a job at a machine shop of the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad.
Though the foreman laughed at the boys’ conception of what
Handsome Film Star Helps Himself To What
He Wants — That’s How He Reached Top
Of Hollywood’s Roster Of Stars
workingmen should look like, he gave them jobs.
A few months later young Montgomery drew another straight line in the general direction of the Pacific coast. He decided, however, that due to his lack of finances his quickest route lay through the Panama Canal. So he got a job on a Standard Oil tanker and worked his way to San Pedro—which gave him his first glimpse of Hollywood—and back to New York.
There he roomed with a young chap by name of Steve Janney, who played “super” in various stage productions. Janney fired Montgomery’s ambition toward the theatre.
“’m going to be an actor,” Montgomery decided.
No sooner said than done—he promptly got himself a job with a Rochester stock company, staying there for a year and a half, during which time he played seventy characters— mostly old men.
At the end of this period Montgomery decided he was ready for Broadway. He was right again and his star rose steadily during the next few years until he was
‘ offered a contract to go to Holly
wood and play opposite Vilma Banky in “This Is Heaven.”
Naturally, the idea of screen stardom appealed to Montgomery, but he decided that the offer was not the one to get him there in the shortest time. Despite the criticism of a great majority of his Broadway associates, he rejected the offer.
Half a year later came another Hollywood offer. Although this one was only for the second male lead in “So This Is College,” Montgomery decided it was worth accepting—and he was off for the West Coast again.
Once in Hollywood he felt he should learn all there was to know about the business of picture making. He roved all over the lot, cramming himself with knowledge of the technical end of the business as well as the acting side of pictures. He quickly familiarized himself with screen technique and it was not long before theatre managers and fans all over the world were inquiring about this breezy new personality.
Not long ago Montgomery, who is currently playing opposite Marion Davies in her new Warner Bros.Cosmopolitan comedy, “Ever Since Eve,” which comes $Oth6. 2.3 a Theatre on Fi Mem , decided he wanted ‘to try something different. With his
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usual aggressive manner he convineced his producers that he should play the lead in “Night Must Fall.’ As the murderous maniac who: cloaks his sinister motives under a debonair, smartcracking exterior veneer, Montgomery was superb. Today the picture is being critically lauded as one of his finest achievements.
Off screen Montgomery is an entirely different person from the breezy, carefree character he usually portrays in pictures. Seriousminded, with an intensely liberal viewpoint, he knows exactly what he wants and why—and he invariably goes after it in his own uniquely direct manner.
What he wants right now is to maintain his position in the screen world. So he devotes the greatest part of his time to his work — studying his new seript between pictures when he is not needed at the studio. Because it’s important to his work that he keeps in perfect physical trim, he spends some part of every day riding horseback, playing tennis, or working in the gym.
The Hollywood social whirl sees little of this earnest young actor. Occasionally, when there’s something special going on, he’ll put in an appearance, but for the most part his social life is confined to his small circle of intimates.
He’s particularly pleased with his new role in “Ever Since Eve,” not only because it’s so good, but because it gives him an opportunity to work at another studio— thus giving him a fresh perspective on his work. He considers a “loan-out” to another studio one of the best boosts an actor can receive.
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